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Super Bowl XXXV

January 27, 2001

Super Bowl XXXV



By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer


Time stood still for Mike Vaughn when Baltimore Colt Jim O'Brien hit a field goal in the final seconds of Super Bowl V in 1971 to defeat the Dallas Cowboys.

"It seemed like forever when he kicked the ball. Then the stadium exploded," said Vaughn, 65, who attended that game in Miami.

While Shannon Sharpe's catch of a deflected pass against the Denver Broncos and Ray Lewis' interception against Tennessee Titan Eddie George - both resulting in touchdowns in the playoffs - were amazing plays to Vaughn, he is still hoping for a huge Ravens' play tonight as the Ravens face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

"I'm hoping that they'll make a big interception or maybe (Jermaine) Lewis will have one of those punt returns that will turn the game around for the Ravens," said Vaughn, who was a member of the local Colts Corral and now belongs to Ravens Nest No. 12, one of two local Ravens fan clubs.

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Vaughn is one of several local residents who were devoted Baltimore Colts fans and have become loyal to the Ravens, the first Baltimore team in the Super Bowl in 30 years.

For Vaughn, those 30 years have been "unrealistic."

"First of all I never thought we'd get a team ... Then five years, to be in the playoffs is just unbelievable," Vaughn said.

"I never thought in my lifetime we'd get a team to go to the Super Bowl," he said.

Vaughn won't be seeing this Super Bowl in person, but his fellow Baltimore Colt and Ravens fans Jim Phillips and Dennis Baker are in Tampa awaiting tonight's kickoff.

"I'm ecstatic," Phillips said last week before leaving Hagerstown. "Each and every day I start getting a little higher."

Several local Baltimore Colts fans said they were heartbroken when owner Robert Irsay moved the Colts Indianapolis in the middle of the night on March 28, 1984.

They supported failed efforts for Baltimore to get an expansion franchise, blaming NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the late Jack Kent Cooke, who for a long time had the power to prevent Baltimore from getting a team because the city was so close to his Washington Redskins.

"I hope he (Tagliabue) has to stand up and give the Ravens a trophy and eat crow" after tonight's game, said Jo Anne Zimmerman, 59, of Hagerstown.

Local fans were torn when owner Art Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1996. The Browns and the Colts were longtime rivals.

But in the last five years, many have become passionate fans of the Baltimore Ravens, who until this season hadn't logged a winning record.

"I think it's great for the city. The city was definitely dealt a blow. I know a lot of people physically cried when they saw the Mayflower vans pull out," said Gregg DeLauney, 41, of Smithsburg.

DeLauney, a member of Ravens Roost No. 7, another local Ravens fan club, said he sympathizes with Cleveland fans. "Their loss was our gain. ... You have to be happy for the city of Baltimore."

Ravens Nest President Bob Miller, 61, and member Chip Snyder, 49, said one thing would have made the road to the Super Bowl better.

That's if the Indianapolis Colts had made it far enough in the playoffs for the Ravens to defeat them in Baltimore, they said.

Some Baltimore Colts fans haven't been able to jump entirely on the Ravens bandwagon.

"I'm very pleased to see Baltimore finally has a team back in the Super Bowl," said Jeff Yingling, 50, who used to run the golf outings for the local Corral.

"I guess when they left town, it just never felt the same when they moved another team in," Yingling said.

Local Colts and Ravens fans said there are few similarities between the old Colts and the Ravens, who lean more on defense and aren't as humble as the old players.

While the team and game have changed over the years, Ravens Roost Vice President Donnie Stotelmyer, 44, said he is elated to see a Baltimore team back in the Super Bowl.

"I didn't expect this year, to get this far this fast. I was hoping this year the team would go 10-6, and build on it," Stotelmyer said.

"You gotta be happy about it," said Jay Binau, 52, who has been president of Colts Corral No. 7 and Ravens Roost No. 7.

Binau said some Roost members went to Tampa hoping to score Super Bowl tickets. If not, they will tailgate outside the stadium.

"The Ravens are the team now, in spite of the memories," said Ed Zimmerman, 63, a member of the Ravens Nest.

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